New apartments are coming to downtown Newport News

A new apartment complex is coming to the downtown area of Newport News.

Provost Construction is renovating several historic buildings into apartments to cater to shipyard employees in downtown Newport News.

The project cost is estimated at $3.5 to $4.5 million.

“We saw a really big need on this side,” said Christopher Tillett, chief development officer from Norfolk-based  Provost Construction. “A lot of our employees are from this side of the water.”

He said even though there are several offices and business in the area, there is not a lot of “living and playing,” something the company wants to create through commercial storefronts.

He compared downtown Newport News to how downtown Norfolk looked 15 years ago and said the company decided to buy the properties while it was still cheap.

Provost Corporation built Circuit Social in Norfolk and is moving their second corporate office in the same building as Coastal Fermentory. They plan to open their office in a couple weeks. See past projects here.

“We could really turn this city around and there is definitely money to be made here,” he said.

He added one of the plans is to potentially add a West Coast burger restaurant chain so people can have a beer and a burger and wait for the HRBT traffic to die down.

The 37,614 square feet property, 212 23rd St., is comprised of three historic masonry buildings which used to be wholesale fruit, vegetable and meat storage, Tillet said.

The buildings are adjacent to another building owned by Provost Construction: Coastal Fermentory, a brewery slated to open in the summer.

The first floor will be used for commercial storefronts such as a gym and the second and third floors will be apartments.

The 32 unnamed market-rate apartments, mainly one- and two-bedroom layouts, will have a luxury feel with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and an in-unit washer and dryer combo, he said.

While the exterior will remain more or less the same, inside the company will have exposed steel structures and re-open parts of the buildings to allow more light.

The company has applied and received several city and state grants including Historic Tax Credits, Commercial Fascade Improvement Grant and the Enterprise Zone Grant.

The company plans to submit permits in the next month.

Construction is expected to be complete in the end of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022.

“We’re just really excited and would not have been able to do it without the city’s partnership,” Tillett said.

The apartments still do not have a name and Tillet said they are open to suggestions.

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